If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Activision sues TikTok creator following legal threat

Creator threatened to sue publisher for using audio clip without consent

Update, August 15, 2023: Activision Blizzard has withdrawn its lawsuit.

Original story, July 28, 2023: Activision has sought a declaratory judgement against a TikTok creator who threatened to sue the publisher for using an audio clip without their consent.

In a complaint issued to the Los Angeles Federal Court on July 24, Activision accused music critic Anthony 'The Needle Drop' Fantano of "embarking on a scheme whereby he selectively threatens to sue certain users unless they pay him extortionate amounts of money for their alleged use" of the viral soundbite uploaded in April 2021.

In June 2023, Activision used the audio clip — in which Fantano reacts to a pizza being cut too many times before shouting "It's enough slices!" — in promotional material for the Crash Bandicoot franchise.

Fantano subsequently issued a cease-and-desist letter in which it is alleged the video "falsely implied that he endorsed Activision" and that Activision used the audio clip without permission.

Activision argued that because Fantano opted for the clip to be in TikTok's commercial sounds library, brands can legally use it for promotional content without consent.

In response to Fantano's threat of legal action, Activision took the video down earlier this month.

Activision claimed that the removal of the video was "insufficient" for Fantano, and that he believed he was "entitled to substantial damages from the use" and would agree to "settle the claims for a six-figure sum."

The publisher argued that the ongoing dispute was a "textbook example of how intellectual property law can be misused by individuals to leverage unfair cash payments from users of social media networks such as TikTok."

GamesIndustry.biz reached out for comment.

Topics in this article

Follow topics and we'll email you when we publish something new about them.  Manage your notification settings.

Sophie McEvoy avatar

Sophie McEvoy

Staff Writer

Sophie McEvoy is a Staff Writer at GamesIndustry.biz. She is based in Hampshire and has been a gaming & entertainment journalist since 2018.